A look at how small the A-wing is & the versions introduced by Rebels and the Resistance
The most debated size
OK, so the A-wing size is not only the main reason I wanted to do size analyses but also the one I dreaded doing. It's perhaps the most difficult ship to pin down in terms of length. And it doesn't help that we have a Rebels version, an original trilogy version, and a Resistance version.
Now, the reason why we have size issues with the A-wing is because of the pilot. Some versions show a spacious cockpit where the pilot appears small, while others show a cramped cockpit with a large pilot. Because people are generally the same height, we have an issue.
Moreover, every single source lists the A-wing size as 9.6 meters long.
To establish a baseline, I looked at the canopy (measured from the grey point to where it hits the red band behind the pilot). IF the canopy is as long as the pilot, then the ship would be 6.3 to 7 meters at most.
Yet, there's one more issue: many models have disproportionately smaller canopies. So, if I make the reference size too small, then those models don't look right at all.
Funny enough, the new Rebel Starfighter Owner's Manual puts the A-wing at 6.9 meters, which is perfect and makes my nerd happy.
Rebels introduced an A-wing model somewhat different than the red beast we saw at Endor. This version features larger canons and different engines/fins but also lacks the notch in the nose. Stills from the show suggest it is quite large. Pilots look tiny with plenty of room in the cockpit to move around. It's possible that the Rebels team used the re-cannonized R-22 Spearhead as the inspiration, which was a prototype A-wing. There was also a two-seat trainer R-22, similar to the A-wing trainer Kanan and Ezra used.
However, the new Starfighter Manual lists it as the same version as the RZ-1 A-wing. So, I'll use the 6.9 m official size for references. Just know that this one may be a bit larger.
At first glance, the Resistance A-wing appears larger, sporting a longer nose jutting out much further from the cockpit than in the original RZ-1. However, the official length is 7.68 meters, significantly shorter than the original's "canon" length. Yet, look at the pictures to the right, and you might notice two major things.
- The cockpit/canopy appear roughly the same as the original
- The pilot size looks similar to the in-cockpit shots from RotJ, almost bumping her head against the canopy.
From this, I would argue that the RZ-2 is roughly the same shape as the RZ-1, but with a longer nose and engines. If you put them next to each other (see pic) sizing the canopies together as best as you can, then the original A-wing appears to be roughly 7 meters.
For those curious about the comparison pic, the RZ-1 is measured from the engine rings, whereas the RZ-2 is measured from the fins (which stick out a little). You also see an average-sizes 5'10" pilot next to them.